Palawan History

            Archeological findings indicate that the first Filipino once lived in the Tabon Caves complex, Quezon, Palawan. A skullcap unearthed in 1962, carbon dated to be 22,000 years old bore testimony to this, thus give credit to the caves as “Cradle of Philippine Civilization”

            Studies showed that there come three waves of migration from Asia to Palawan passing through the land bridges of Balabac, in the following order: The Pygmies (Aetas/Nigritos); the Indonesians to this group where the Tagbanuas belong: and the Malays.

            Historical records also show that long before Spaniards discover the Philippines in 1521, inhabitants of Palawan were already doing commerce with the ancient Chinese traders, particularly in the coastal areas of Calamianes. This is evidence by the sizeable amount of Chinese porcelains, jars and other relics found in Palawan today.

            Palawan was then known as the Province of Calamianes, with Taytay as its capital poor and inadequate transportation and communications however, made governance arduous thus in 1859 the Province was divided into two, CASTILLA and ASTURIAS, “Castillas” included Cuyo, Taytay, Calamian, Busuanga and adjacent island with Taytay as the capital. “Asturias” comprised all municipalities south of Taytay down to Balabac. Puerto Princesa was its capital.

            Castilla and Asturias were to be short-lived however. In 1862 a royal decree again divided  Palawan into two Provinces. “Calamianes” and “Paragua”. To former was added Bacuit. And to encourage migrants to settle in these Provinces, no taxes were levied for a period of ten years.

            In 1873, the capital of PARAGUA was transferred from Taytay to Cuyo.

            The Peace Treaty between the Spain and United States of America in 1898 gave way to American Regime. In 1901, a Military Government was established with Major John Brown as Lieutenant Governor of Paragua with Major J. Brown as the appointer Governor. In 1902, pursuant to Act No.1363 of the Philippine Commission, the name PARAGUA was changed to PALAWAN and the capital was transferred from Cuyo to Puerto Princesa.

            American governance laid emphasis on Education, Agriculture, Medical Assistance and Right of tribal Minorities were also considered.

            Because of its democratic ways and enlightened policies, Americans succeeded in uniting the people.

            At the outbreak of World War II, Japanese Imperial forces occupied Palawan on May 18, 1942. They established garrisons in Coron, Puerto Princesa, Iwahig. Consequently guirella were formed in three sectors led by Capt. Carlos Amores in Calamianes, by Dr. Higinio Mendoza Sr. (Governor Elect 1931-1937) in the mainland and Emilio Tumbaga in Brook’s Point.

            Palawan was liberated in 1945. 

          The Name Palawan was believed to come from Chinese word “PA-LAO-YU” meaning “The Land of Beautiful Safe Harbor” and a Spanish word “PARAGUA” that linkens the shape of the island as closed umbrella.

Known Palawan ………. The Last Frontier


            An archipelago situated in the western border of the Philippines approximately one (1) hr. air travel and 24 hours boat travel Southern of Manila.

            Palawan is located 30 nautical miles. South of Mindoro and 60 nautical miles North of Borneo and is bounded on the East by the Sulu Sea.

            Philipines is in the heart of Southeast Asia Further North is Japan, further down south in Australia, and on east is Pacific Ocean.

Climate:     Rainfalls:
Northeast Monsoon (Amihan) ---Nov. to Feb   Favorable Months ---Jan. to May
Southwest Monsoon  (Habagat)—Jun to Oct.        Rainy Months---------Jun. ton Dec.
Favorable for Sea travel------------Mar to May  
LAND AREA - 1,489,655 hectares         
LENGTH: - Stretches – 650 Lm. Tip to Tip  
No. of Islands -  1,780 island & islets  
Mainland – 425 Km. Long